I sincerely hope that throughout December you will have time to nurture your creative spirit, wheather it's painting, making cards, baking cookies -- or mixing colors in your bubble bath!
Despite the busy season, I have some projects to continue and need to make painting time a priority--even in short spans! As we know, good habits must be made a priority, and one must make the daily decision to push on!
Painting directly from a scene is wonderful, but often I paint from a study or photo. Today, I am painting from a photo I took in Paris last summer. The day was delightful, the light was perfect, and I like the subject captured in the Orangerie at Jardin Du Luxembourg. It conjures up fond memories. One of the three artists exhibiting, Nicole Gaulier, took time to chat and tell me about each of the artists; I appreciate that she shared enthusiasm for the others as well as herself. The paintings in this scene are by Hans Bourman.
I am painting on a lovely natural dark beige linen that comes coated with a clear primer. As I often do, I began with a pastel pencil sketch on the canvas—easy to change as I go. Many artists use charcoal, but it will leave a black smudge (sometimes a desired effect) unless you seal it. I like to seal the pastel with acrylic medium and move it around in brushstrokes as I go.
I also create a file of photos with a version in color, black and white, posterized and with high intensity values—to flip through as I paint, using my monitor to view the images. I do not aim for photographic likeness; I want to convey the light and color effects from the scene.
By the way, I find it much better to paint before I check email or the news! Try to create a schedule that works for you! I am dovetailing activities (a term I like because it refers to a woodworking skill!)
(I began yesterday with a very quick sketch) – step 1)
- Sketch in dark pastel pencil
- Add white pastel
- Cover these areas with matte medium, allowing brush to thoroughly cover the area and create brushstrokes.
- Add a bit of color…I added ocher, vermillion, brown and some green.
- Cover layers with matte medium.
I’m not finished, but will stop for today. I've made progress and am on my way!
I wish you all success in your pursuits this week. Set priorities. Enjoy family and friends.
Remember the love of the original Christmas!
Inspired by all of you,